Look on the bright side!

Some days are good, and some days are bad.  I know! You know! We know that! Then, suddenly, we hear Spanish speakers saying ¨Al Mal tiempo, buena cara¨. And I go: Wadda hell?

As Gary Coleman from ¨Different Strokes¨would say: Wacha talking ’bout Willis? ¿De qué está hablando Willis? Yes, exactly! I don’t understand Willis! What does ¨Al Mal tiempo, buena cara¨ mean in English?

Listen up Arnold!, Willis would reply: Once you realize you don´t have control over many things around you and that sometimes we have good days and sometimes we don´t, you will understand that…

¡La vida es dura!

That’s life! It’s hard to say what will come because life is tricky and mysterious—just like people are. Aren’t you?

If you look outside your window and see a vibrant ray of sunshine, does your face light up too, or does it depend on circumstances? 

How about if it’s thundering and raining, will it affect your mood?  Some Spanish speakers tend to believe so. And some just don’t care and would say: ¡Al mal tiempo, buena cara!

But what does it means in English, Willis?

Put on a brave face in tough times

Yes! That’s exactly what it means. The Spanish phrase “al mal tiempo, buena cara” translates to “put on a brave face to weather the storm” or “keep a positive attitude in adversity” in English.

It’s an expression that encourages maintaining a positive demeanor and attitude even when faced with difficult or challenging situations.

¡Así es la vida!

As my stoic father would say: ¨Son, it is life! So just put on a brave face and dare to weather the storm¨.

He stopped saying that when I saw him screaming and getting on a table after seeing a mouse. Yes! It’s life! (¡Así es la vida!)

When the going gets tough, the tough get going

It’s about facing adversity with resilience, maintaining composure, and not letting difficulties or setbacks bring you down.

In essence, it suggests that even in bad times, you should show a cheerful and optimistic face

No matter what happens, you have a choice:  If you step into a pile of mierda (shit), at first, you’re going to be mad, but then you can give your zapatos (shoes) a much needed clean and turn your frown upside down.

When life gives you lemons…

As the saying goes: ¨Si del cielo te caen limones, aprende a hacer limonada.¨ (When life gives you lemons, make lemonade).

And for some Spanish speakers, stepping in shit (mierda) brings good luck (¡buena suerte)!

¿En problemas? ¡Hay que sonreir!

Got problems? You gotta smile! Life doesn’t always give you what you want, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a deep breath, straighten your shoulders, and stay positive:  Respira profundo, levanta esos hombros con actitud positiva y repite: ¨A mal tiempo, buena cara¨.

Turn a negative incident into a positive, that’s what the expression stands for. If you are going through difficult times and maybe life has been very harsh on you, then you still have an opportunity to smile.

¡No cara de mierda!

No shitty Face! One shitty feet is enough: Having a lousy face may make things worse, like after stepping in shit, you decide to smear it in both feet.  Eooow! Don’t do that! 

One shoe was enough, but now it’s time to give it a clean, throw up your hands, and know it probably won’t happen again for a long time. 

Better Stay Positive

It’s better to stay positive and just face life with a smile on your face anyway, don’t ya think? Do you think putting a shitty face would help your shitty shoe? No, right! It´s like trying to use your hand to clean the shitty feet instead of just cleaning it with water or paper—or more dirt, or whatever

Google Translation

If you type in “A Mal Tiempo Buena Cara” into Google, you’ll get the translation, In bad weather, good face.”  Sounds a bit confusing but now you have a grasp of the language and understand this secret expression—not that secret though.

Now you can say it to any speaker of Spanish, and they will know exactly what you mean!

¿Un Final Feliz?

Learning Spanish at Kasa De Franko will help you connect with someone else, which has the potential to brighten not only your day but also herself or himself—whichever you prefer the most.

Afterward, he or she might even invite you to their bedroom for a super happy face! Or maybe more? ¿Un final feliz? (A happy ending?) ¡Quién sabe! (Who knows!) ¡Solo tú! (Only you!) What happens in your bedroom, stays in your bedroom!

Spanish is culture!

Learning Spanish is more about words, it’s about embracing a culture that has survived all these years through the thick and thin!  A culture that has a deep heritage with expressions that have stood the test of time.

Proverbs, tales, legends, sayings and idioms are part of a rich culture. If interested in learning more idioms, folktales, stories and dirty phrases, make sure you check out our Kasa de Franko’s Blog—especially, ¨The Sexy Chupacabras Saga¨ and ¨Things Spanish People Say in Bed¨ series.

Always facing the sunshine

Keep your face always toward the sunshine—and shadows will fall behind you.” This quote by the renowned American poet Walt Whitman captures the essence of maintaining a positive outlook despite challenges—somehow similar to the Spanish saying: ¨A mal tiempo, buena cara¨.

It emphasizes the idea that focusing on the positive aspects of life can help dispel the shadows of adversity.

It’s Human History!

People throughout history have dealt with a lot of bad stuff. By staying positive and keeping a smile even through dark times, they’ve prospered and lived to see the light of day once again!  And you can too!

Don´t be sad if you get to step on shit (mierda) again. Smile knowing that you weren’t the first one, nor the last one.–always keeping in mind: ¡Al mal Tiempo, buena cara!

Now that you know that stepping on shit brings you good luck, you better use your luck to learn Spanish.

Time to reverse your luck!

Now that you know what to say when things are not going well, you need to learn what to say when things get better.

Today is your lucky day: We are offering complimentary lessons to those who finish reading this article.

Red for Free!

Ready to ignite your language-learning journey? Tap the red button below and secure your complimentary Spanish lesson!

As you embark on this exciting adventure, remember that the Spanish language presents opportunities beyond simply encountering with really bad shit.

Immerse yourself in the depths of (no mierda) Spanish culture, and always remember:

Dirty Talk in Spanish
5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments